Just What is Managed Hosting?

If you’ve ever Googled “What is managed hosting?”,  the results can seem overwhelming. “Managed” is an overloaded term, with different hosting companies implementing different meanings. In this post, Media Temple shares how we implement “managed” such that you know what to expect with our hosting solutions.

Here is a clear definition, confirmed by industry analysts, on the meaning of  “managed” in the hosting world.

Certain characteristics must be met for a hosting solution to be considered ”managed,” – the full extent of which may vary depending on the type of hosting (i.e. WordPress, Grid, VPS, or Cloud). However, these characteristics describe the software managing the hosting solution and its performance:

  • OS installation and updates
  • Application installation and updates
  • Malware scanning and cleanup
  • Performance monitoring
  • Backups

At Media Temple, we made all of our managed hosting solutions fit the definition provided above – from WordPress and shared hosting to VPS and cloud hosting services for AWS.

As an example, let’s examine DV – VPS Managed Hosting at Media Temple:

  • Media Temple manages and patches the shared platform’s underlying OS (e.g. CentOS)
  • DV Managed, with either Plesk Panel or cPanel, includes more than 200 useful applications. Each app can be installed directly on your sites with just a few clicks, without the configuration hassles and other complications of traditional software installs. Popular apps include:
    • WordPress
    • PinnacleCart
    • Drupal
    • Joomla
  • Malware scanning and cleanup for 5 sites.
  • Every DV service includes Media Temple’s exclusive, real-time server status system, providing you with an instant view of your servers’ health. Monitor an auto-updating stream of your server’s CPU, memory, disk, load and network usage directly from the Account Center. Real time and Historical Server Status information is also available via your Account Center anytime.
  • Media Temple provides daily backups (for a period of 7 days) plus weekly backups (for a period of 4 weeks). Restoration services can be purchased through Advanced Support.

Depending on the type of hosting solution, the definition of “managed” hosting may be satisfied in a slightly different way and may include more features. For example, the generally accepted definition of Managed WordPress includes the aforementioned bullet points plus multiple tiers of caching (architecture), and a set of developer-friendly tools (software).  By example, Media Temple’s Managed WordPress offering includes four layers of caching — Varnish, Memcached, PHP APC, and storage L2 caching to maximize performance by minimizing calls to the disks —  and developer tools like WP-CLI, SSH, FTP, as well as site staging.

In sum, “managed” hosting is really about managing the server through software. While Media Temple automates this, some companies may do this manually and include (or exclude) some other facets of system administration such as configuration and performance tuning. Look carefully and make sure you are picking the right solutions for your business needs.

Learn more about Web Hosting offerings from Media Temple, today!
Note: This original 2015 post was refreshed in 2019.

About the Author Victoria Kouyoumjian is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Media Temple. More by this Author